We are fortunate to have the first of it’s kind event in Atlantic Canada to happen in our neck of the woods. The Atlantic Canada FPV and Multirotor Meeting will take place on June 15th (Rescheduled from June 8th due to rain), 2013, in Hillsborough, NB. You can find out more details about the event on the MAAC website or the Facebook group (Atlantic Canada FPV and Multirotor Meeting). So what’s this FPV stuff about anyway?
FPV, or First Person View, is a new segment of the RC hobby that involves using a video camera and video link to operate a radio controlled vehicle. This can include airplanes, helicopters, multicopters, and even cars, trucks, and boats!
The perspective is that of being in the driver’s seat and must be experienced to be fully appreciated. To enhance the illusion, there are special video goggles that place video screens close to your eyes so that you feel truly immersed. The first time I tried to pilot my tricopter using FatShark video goggles, I literally fell out of my chair and had to land and take a break before trying again; my brain had initially rejected the virtual environment being detached from my physical body experience. A subsequent flight was no problem, but it just shows how realistic the visual sensation of flying is.
FPV is first and foremost a visual experience. The flying is actually secondary to the visual environment you are exploring. Because of this, the traditional role of the club field as a designated place for RC piloting is changed. FPV pilots seek out beautiful places to explore from the air.
FPV involves RC piloting, electronics, software, amateur radio and videography. Because of it’s multi-disciplinary nature, there is a tremendous amount of information to absorb and significant complexity. Rather than jump into a full blown FPV setup, it is recommended that FPV pilots progress incrementally starting with a basic airframe without video, then adding a camera, then a video transmitter and ground display, etc. In this way, you can gain good working knowledge along each step and mitigate risk and costs.
You can learn a lot at an event such as the Atlantic Canada FPV and Multirotor Meeting. If this exiting new hobby interests you, you should make an effort to attend. Everyone is welcome and there is no charge. As this is a MAAC sanctionned event, all flying participants must be current MAAC members.